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JOKE ISSUE: Hackney nixed for NEH post

(03/30/93 10:00am)

Washington insiders said yesterday that President Clinton has decided to pass over President Sheldon Hackney as the next chairperson of the National Endowment for the Humanities. White House officials declined to comment, but a well-placed humanities lobbyist said Hackney was rejected because he "simply was lobbying too hard for the job." "He called Clinton, his friends called Clinton, even Lucy called Clinton," said John Hammer, an official with the National Humanities Alliance. "The man obviously has a lot to learn about politics." Hammer said Clinton will call a press conference today to name historian Gary Nash to head the federal agency instead. Word of Clinton's decision came as a surprise because reports out of Washington said Hackney had already accepted Clinton's offer and was scheduled to start after the end of the current academic year. Hackney, the second-longest sitting president in the Ivy League, would have been the fourth top-ranking University administrator to leave the University since September. Hammer said Clinton's problems with Hackney's persistence began when, after Nash asked Hackney to recommended him for the top NEH post, Hackney threw his own name into the running. "Nash calls Hackney up for a rec and what does Hackney do? He tells him, 'That sounds like the job I've been looking for,' " Hammer recalled. Hackney's application arrived -- Federal Express -- the next day, he added. But Hackney, in his typical style, disputed Hammer's account and said he had not heard from the White House since he sent his resume there earlier this year. "I have not had any recent discussions with the White House," Hackney said coyly. "This really is a curious process." When pressed for a real answer, a "clueless" Hackney insisted that he had not been in touch with his "old friend Bill." "You guys know more about this than I do," Hackney said, lying through his teeth. Rumors inside the Keystone State have Hackney making a run for the governorship, yet, of course, he denied this speculation too. But Gov. Robert Casey's term is up in 1994 and Hackney has always hinted that he likes the Governor's mansion better than his house on campus. "I've been running this joint for 13 years, just waiting for a Democratic president," he whined. "I thought this was finally my chance to get the hell out of here. Do you think I want to be stuck in this dead-end job in the middle of West Philly forever? "It's just no fun anymore," he went on. "Sammy doesn't even invite me to their late-nights."

Fundraising is on track for center

(12/04/92 10:00am)

Fundraising efforts for the $60 & million Revlon Center are on sche - dule, but development officials are waiting for the building's plans to be finalized and approved. Rick Nahm, senior vice president of planning and development, said this week that $15 million of the $30 million expected to come from & pledges has been raised, and the University has about $3.5 million in hand. But Nahm added that he needs to know exactly what spaces will exist within the campus center before he can seek the rest of the money. "It's always hard [to raise mo - ney], particularly in this economy," Nahm said. But having the plans in hand, he added, "makes it less & difficult." Vice Provost for University Life Kim Morrisson said earlier this & week that she expects plans for the Revlon Center to be completed for approval by the University Trustees in June, about a year later than some earlier estimates. Nahm said he hopes to see a set of working plans in February or & March in order to get a head start on completing the fundraising & effort. "[We hope to get] something be - fore the reunions in May," he said. "That will help a lot." The $60 million center will be fi - nanced through Nahm's office's ef - forts as well as a $10 million pledge made by the Revlon Foundation in 1988. The remaining $20 million is expected to be generated by re - venue from leasing space to the & Book Store, retail shops and re - stuarants, Nahm said. Nahm said he hopes to dot the walls of the center with plaques re - vealing the names of donors. He added that most campus buildings have been funded through loans, not a combination of donations. "[The Revlon Center is] going to be the most expensive single con - struction project in the history of the University," Nahm said. "When you get up to that level, you simply don't have that many people willing to donate the full amount." "We assumed that if we got a lead gift of $10 million, we could go for - ward with the project," he ex - plained, adding that the University did not ask anyone to donate an entire campus center. "The Revlon Foundation is really to be com - mended for that donation up front." The Revlon Foundation's gift has financed the project thus far, pay - ing the bills for the architects as the years have progressed, Nahm said. The entire lump sum is not cur - rently in the University's & possession. "The Foundation makes pay - ments as we spend money," he said.

U. expects to start building new garage in March 1993

(12/02/92 10:00am)

Construction of the University's proposed multi-level parking garage is expected to begin in early March, Vice President for Facilities Management Arthur Gravina said last Monday. The building of the garage, which will be located at 38th and Walnut streets, is an integral part of two of the University's construction projects -- the Biomedical Research Building and the Revlon Center. And the garage's construction, Gravina said, is in a "race to the finish" with BRB. Both structures are scheduled for completion in mid-1994, but BRB, which will be located between Blockley Hall and the Nursing Education Building, cannot be occupied until the $38 million garage project is completed. The garage will house a "somewhat unique" chilled water plant which will provide the raw material for air conditioning a number of University buildings, including BRB. But Gravina said he is "discouraged" that the slow pace of the garage project may hold up the completion of BRB. The University is currently waiting for zoning and building permits for the garage from the city, he said. The 550-car garage, stretching from Walnut to Sansom streets, will also house ground-level retail stores and an electricity distribution center, one of six on campus. The Revlon Center fits into the same complicated equation. The parking garage was planned in order to absorb the spaces lost when the campus center is built on the site of the parking lot at 36th and Walnut streets. And construction on the campus center cannot begin until the parking spaces are compensated for, Gravina said. Vice Provost for University Life Kim Morrisson said last week she expects that campus center construction will begin in the fall 1994 and the building should be ready to open its doors by fall 1996.

Students worry about liquor board crackdown

(12/01/92 10:00am)

The University used to warrant the label of "The Party School of the Ivies." But, thanks to Liquor Control Enforcement officers, times are changing. Students of all ages who used to frequent campus bars and crowd into hot, sweaty, fraternity parties are having to reassess what they do for fun . . . or at least look over their shoulders if they are going to drink underage. LCE officers warned this week they would continue to crack down on underage drinkers -- in bars, at fraternities or "anywhere where underage people are drinking." And students said yesterday they are concerned that the LCE's threats will permanently alter the state of social activities at the University. "Penn is like the perfect Ivy -- it has the perfect balance of a good education and a good time," said a College freshman who asked not to be identified. "The LCE is really threatening that." "I definitely don't think it's going to be the same socially as it has been in the past," said Interfraternity Council President Jeffrey Blount. "Obviously, with the threat of the LCE, [fraternities] can't afford to have as many open parties." While fraternity brothers and their close friends will still have a social outlet, the Wharton senior said, Greek social activities will not be as accessible to most non-Greek students. "Just because the fraternities aren't having large parties doesn't mean we're not having any social activities for our members," Blount added. But, "we have to be more concerned with our own safety now. Though we would love to have open parties every weekend, unfortunately the current situation does not allow us to do that." Engineering senior Michael Lee, a member of the non-IFC fraternity Alpha Phi Delta, said that while his fraternity will continue throwing parties, the possibility of an appearance by the LCE is always considered during the party's planning stages. "I think anyone who's not 21 worries about [the LCE] when they go into a bar . . . and every fraternity is going to worry about it if they serve drinks," Lee said. "I don't think we'll have fewer parties but [the LCE is] definitely something we think about everytime we throw one." LCE officers argue that they are just doing their job by raiding bars and parties in search of underage drinkers who may have slipped through the door and are sipping on an alcoholic beverage. But while many students acknowledge that underage drinking is against the law, they are perplexed as to why the state police have decided to crack down now since underage students have been drinking for years. "This is a college campus. It's going to happen," said College sophomore Kelly Jarvis. "They can stop people from going to bars but they can't stop people from drinking." "I don't think they should be cracking down so hard," said College junior Shane Sorg, who is 21. "It's college. Everybody wants to go out and drink. You need a few bars that are going to let [underage] people in." And some students said they think the state police should worry about other things besides underage drinking. "People are getting shot and stabbed two blocks away and they're worried about drunk people stumbling home," Jarvis said. "It would be different if they had to worry about people driving." "It's absolutely ridiculous that [the LCE has] nothing better to do than raid campus bars at a university where they know three-quarters of the people are under 21," said Wharton senior Jodi Lynne Bayrd, who added that one reason she chose to attend the University was its reputation as "the social Ivy." But whether or not the LCE achieves its goal of halting underage drinking -- and many students said they doubt underage drinking will ever stop -- they have succeeded in putting fear into the hearts of many University students. "I think it's definitely getting scary," said College junior Andrea Chen. "It would definitely make me think twice about going to a bar with a fake ID. [But] people aren't going to stop drinking because of it, they're just going to be more careful about where they go." "It definitely won't stop me from going out but I'll definitely have to think twice," the unidentified College freshman added. "I'll constantly have to look over my shoulder." Blount predicts that the LCE's latest crackdown is just the beginning of a "snowball picking up steam." "I hoped that it would not be like this while I was in school here," the IFC President said. "[But] give it four more years -- it's going to be that much more strict."

Campus Center to open in 1996

(11/18/92 10:00am)

Construction on the Revlon Campus Center will probably not begin until fall 1994, and the facility's doors will not open until two years later, according to a timetable outlined by Vice Provost for University Life Kim Morrisson last night. But even though President Sheldon Hackney originally predicted when the project was launched in 1988 that University students would have a new place to congregate by 1992, Morrisson maintains that the University is not that far behind schedule. "We're no more than a year off from the timetable that was discussed realistically," Morrisson said. The University's last estimated date of completion was 1995. She said the plans have been stalled in large part by financial constraints. But Morrisson stressed that the Revlon Center project is still one of the University's top concerns and has not been put on the backburner. "I believe it's the top priority, not just of my office, but of the president's office, the development office and the [University] Trustees," she said. Student leaders said last night that while they understand the University is working hard to build the new center, they are becoming impatient. "There are a lot of grandiose plans the University has and we wish they'd get moving on [them]," said Kirsten Bartok, Undergraduate Assembly vice chairperson. "They're working hard. They want this done as well. They're just finding that with monetary constraints it's difficult." Bartok added that she is confident that even though the current freshman class will not even get to enjoy the Revlon Center, the facility eventually will be constructed. "I'm optimistic," the College junior said. "I think it will get built because they want it built, but I hope it's soon too." Anne Todd, chairperson of the Social Planning and Events Committee, said that the University lacks facilities for students and is in serious need of a campus center. "Students need a center on campus to join together," she said. "I think it would bring more students back on campus. "It's a shame [it wasn't built sooner]," Todd added. "I wish we'd had one." Currently, a Trustees committee is planning fundraising strategies for the center, Morrisson said. She said she expects to have a final plan ready for the Trustees' approval by the end of next semester and that it will take a year from that time before groundbreaking is possible. Meanwhile, as the Trustees iron out some of the details, the original building committee has not met since July. Wharton senior Joel Yarbrough, the only undergraduate committee member, said yesterday that although his committee is not involved in the process right now, he is pleased that the Trustees are so involved with the planning of the project. "I'm glad they're taking an active involvement rather than just grumbling," he said. And Yarbrough, who said he was led to believe during his freshman year that he would see the center completed by the time of his graduation, said he thinks the "glacier pace" of this project will pay off in the end. "I wish the building would be ready tomorrow," he said. But, "you don't design things for short-term satisfaction. What we're going to get is the best campus center for the next 100 years." Regional Science Department Chairperson Stephen Gale, a member of the committee, said he thinks the departure of Executive Vice President Marna Whittington -- who was a co-chairperson of the group -- led to much of the delay. Gale said Whittington was the committee's chief financial strategist.

U. receives AA rating from S

(11/12/92 10:00am)

Ivy League schools get all A's. At least according to Standard and Poor's -- a financial company that issues corporate bond ratings -- which has given each Ivy League school, including the University, a AA rating or better. The University's AA rating, however, places it, along with Brown and Cornell universities, at the bottom of the Ivy League. Harvard, Yale and Princeton universities top the rating charts with AAAs, the highest rating S & P gives. Dartmouth College and Columbia University round out the Ancient Eight with AA+ ratings, one notch above the University. Bond ratings are reviewed every year and are based upon a number of factors, including student demand, endowment size and financial flexibility, according to Lisa Danzig, a director in S & P's municipal finance department. "A AA is a very strong rating," Danzig said this week. The University's rating is one of the lowest in the Ivies because fewer students choose to apply to the University than to other, higher-rated schools, she said. "[Student] demand is probably the cornerstone of the private university rating," Danzig explained. "If you don't have good student demand it's definitely going to catch up with your financial operations." University Associate Treasurer for Investment Lucy Momjian said that bond ratings impact the cost of borrowing money, but said the difference between the cost of a loan for a AAA school and a AA school is "minimal." "As long as I can remember we've been AA," Momjian said. "It's very good." Danzig said the University's rating has not been affected by either the city of Philadelphia's recent fiscal crises or the $19.5 million deficit the University is running this year. "Running a deficit in and of itself does not necessarily change the rating," she said, adding that the University's rating might be endangered if it were to run deficits year after year. Curiously, two Ivies which have had well-publicized problems recently, Columbia and Yale, still rate higher than the University. Danzig said Columbia could emerge from its current financial woes even stronger than when the troubles began. "Columbia definitely has some problems," she said. "They ran a deficit in 1992 and they're projecting deficits, I think, for the next couple of years. [But] Columbia still has very strong demand, good financial operations and a strong endowment." And, she added, "Yale's had a tremendous change in management . . . but that doesn't necessarily mean the bond rating is going [to change]." The University's rating shares the highest rating for a private college or university in Pennsylvania with Swarthmore College. Lehigh, Villanova and Temple universities are rated A, La Salle University is rated A-, and Philadelphia College of Textiles and Sciences has a BBB rating.

LCE cracks down on minor drinkers

(11/09/92 10:00am)

Underage drinkers beware: Liquor Control Enforcement officials are cracking down. "Watch out," warned Tom Heffner, an LCE supervisor, yesterday. "We're coming." Heffner said that as a result of "a directive down from the top," the LCE has increased its efforts to stop the underage -- including students -- from consuming alcohol. "We've been stepping things up for the last several months," Heffner said. "We are trying to cut down on underage drinking on campuses . . . and that's statewide." And Heffner noted that more and more students have been cited by the LCE as a result of recent efforts. "[It's] much more likely that you're going to get caught [if you're drinking underage] than three or four years ago," he added. The University area has been the site of numerous LCE raids since a Phi Kappa Psi party last March yielded approximately 80 citations of students for underage drinking and the arrest of a brother for selling liquor without a license. Friday night 20 people were cited for underage drinking at the Palladium and the Gold Standard, two campus bars. Heffner said LCE officers visit bars every weekend, searching for underage drinkers. He said the officers easily blend in with the patrons. "We have some reasonably young-looking officers," he said, although he would not specify the number of officers involved in surveillance activities. Information about the locations of underage drinkers comes from a variety of sources, he said, including other drinking establishments and area residents. "When we get information as to underage drinking, we are going to aggressively pursue it," Heffner said. Students said last night that the threat of the LCE has cut into social life on campus. "The fact that the fraternities are worried about citations will limit the parties they throw," said College sophomore David Avarbock, who added that he is not much of a drinker. "It takes away from the social life on campus." "I don't think it's right that [the LCE] should be nosing around in our business," said College sophomore Timothy Cohen. Associate Vice Provost for University Life Larry Moneta said yesterday that a number of students have told him they are concerned about the presence of the LCE on campus. "Make it stop," he said students have been pleading. Moneta said he has mixed feelings about the LCE, which has threatened two basic aspects of social life at the University: the fraternity parties and the bar scene. "I'm torn because I'm not going to endorse drinking . . . as an essential ingredient in the quality of campus life," Moneta said. "My fantasy is that other activities [can replace drinking]." But he added that he is not a "naive adult" who thinks solving the problem is as easy as adding another campus film festival, although he said he is considering speeding up plans for more activities that are not alcohol-related. "We're still trying to figure out a strategy for more alternative social activities," he said.

Police raid campus bars

(11/09/92 10:00am)

Liquor Control Enforcement officials raided two campus bars Friday night. They handed out approximately 20 citations for underage drinking, one of the bars' co-owners said yesterday. Customers of the Palladium and the Gold Standard, both located at 36th Street and Locust Walk, were startled at around 11:30 p.m. Friday when LCE officers ordered the bars to stop serving and turned the lights up, said Roger Harmon, a co-owner of both establishments. "[The LCE officers] said they were acting on a complaint but wouldn't be specific," Harmon said. "We didn't have any specific inkling that anything would happen this weekend." About five people were cited in the Palladium itself, where bouncers had been "carding heavily" at the door, Harmon said. "The Liquor Control people were carded when they came in," Harmon said he was told by the bar's night manager. "I think the staff was doing as best as they could." Some of Friday night's Gold Standard patrons said yesterday that the mood in the bar was one of fear when plainclothes officers appeared and ordered everyone to stay until they took a breathalyzer test or could produce identification proving they were at least 21 years old. "Some people were really afraid and I understand the police were really uptight," said Wharton senior Mariacte Correa, chairperson of the Arts House Dance Company Board, which was throwing the Gold Standard party. "They looked at the students' faces and were, like, 'Ha, Ha, Ha. We got you.' " Others said they were upset because they had no trouble gaining entrance to the party, which was supposed to be a fundraising party and show for the company. "It made us angry because they didn't ID us going in," Nursing sophomore Pam Spitzer said. "We just went to see a dance performance . . . and it got busted, which no one really expected." Students at the party said it took nearly two hours for the officers to clear out the Gold Standard. Harmon said that at the Gold Standard people show identification to the bouncer, who stamps them if they are old enough to drink. Harmon added that his bars have never been raided before, and that the Palladium has had a liquor license since 1983. Harmon said one probable solution to the problem of underage drinking at the Gold Standard, where many people go to dance, is to separate the bar area from the dance floor. He said he is considering this. Then, only people with proper identification would be allowed to enter the bar area, and they would not be allowed to take their drinks onto the dance floor. Some of those who were cited had reportedly been drinking before they arrived at the Arts House party. "They were citing people who had evidence of drinking but not necessarily drinks," Harmon said. "I'm not exactly sure what I can do if they're going to cite people who are on my premises who have been drinking beforehand." Harmon said it is difficult to run a bar on a college campus because the drinking age automatically excludes a large segment of students from participating in part of the social life. "The 21 age drinking puts increased pressure on anyone trying to run an establishment in a campus area," he said. "I wish the drinking age were 18 . . . but unfortunately [it's not and] we've got to live by the law." Harmon said business had been "definitely down over the last . . . six months," which he partially attributed to a "growing fear" of the LCE. And even the establishments that many students believed were immune to the LCE are now in danger of being searched on any given night. "I knew the frat parties were not safe, but I never thought the Gold Standard in the middle of campus would be raided," Nursing sophomore Spitzer said.

Yeakel and Specter fight dirty battle for Senate seat

(11/02/92 10:00am)

Whatever else voters think about the tight Senate race between incumbent Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Democrat Lynn Yeakel, they are likely to agree on one thing -- this is the nastiest race many have seen in years. The campaign has been one of attacks and counterattacks, name-calling and mud-slinging and minute after minute of negative ads. Each side cries foul and each side claims innocence. "I think the campaign that Lynn Yeakel has been running is very below the belt," Susan Lamontagne, Specter's press secretary, said last week. "[Senator Specter] has said this is the nastiest campaign he has seen in this state." "Senator Specter was the first person to launch a negative campaign," counters Bob McCarson, Yeakel's communications director. "[The Republican party] took negative campaigning and raised it to a higher art form and Arlen Specter is one of their Picassos." "We've simply responded," he added. "We're not going to let him beat her up." Specter's camp says Yeakel has six ads on the air, all of which are negative, while of their candidate's six ads, only one shows their opponent in a negative light. "We don't distort the facts," Lamontagne said. "We don't distort her image." But McCarson said the Yeakel campaign has said negative things about the Senator because "there's no way to talk about Arlen Specter's record without being negative." Edward Schwartz, a former City Councilman who teaches an Urban Studies class on Philadelphia politics at the University, said that if Specter wins the race, it will be a testimony to the value of negative campaigning and the value of having the funds to run them. "This whole campaign has been led, shaped, propelled by extremely vicious attacks," Schwartz said. "The voters were introduced to Lynn Yeakel through Arlen Specter." "Arlen Specter had enough money to take ads for two or three weeks blasting [Yeakel's] position on Israel . . . and she did not have money to respond," he added. "A candidate who runs now must count on having millions of dollars at all points of a campaign to counteract negative advertising." But, Schwartz said, he thinks in the end the voters will be able to sort out what is important to them. Although Yeakel rode high at the beginning of the summer after a primary victory that had the media touting her as one of the most promising candidates in this "Year of the Woman," Yeakel's popularity has slipped. While some polls show the two candidates running in a virtual dead heat, most show the incumbent with a substantial lead. But only tomorrow's poll, Election Day, counts. Yeakel, the former president of Women's Way, says she decided to run for Senate as a result of the outrage she felt watching Specter's treatment of Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings last year. Yeakel supports abortion rights, believing in no state control of abortion. She says she is a staunch believer in public investment in education and job training for youth and adults. Yeakel supports national health insurance and a national health care budget to control costs. She opposes a balanced budget amendment and wants to cut the military budget. She also says she wants to create public works projects to rebuild cities and develop a well-balanced foreign trade policy. Specter, who has been in office for 12 years and was Philadelphia district attorney before that, also supports abortion rights and says he wants to "reform the current health care system, not desert it." He says he wants to cut the military budget, but not as much as Yeakel. Specter says he supports a constitutional amendment to balance the budget and believes in the line-item veto. Seniority is one issue that has recently been debated by the two candidates and their supporters. Critics of Yeakel say her election would make Pennsylvania the state with the most junior pair of senators, since Sen. Harris Wofford (D-Pa.) has only been in office for a little over a year. "[Specter's seniority] is something that would be a great loss to the state of Pennsylvania," the Specter campaign's Lamontagne said. But Yeakel supporters say her Democratic Party affiliation would give her much more political power in the Senate than Specter could ever obtain. "Seniority is definitely the door to power but Democrats hold the keys," the Yeakel campaign's McCarson said. "He's not a leader because he's a Republican. Democrats control the committees. Democrats control the Senate." "Arlen Specter will never be the chairman of a subcommittee. Lynn Yeakel will be the chairman of a subcommittee the day she gets to Congress," he added.

Local politicians say the only really important polls are on election day

(10/29/92 10:00am)

Political campaigners have found a way to deal with the barrage of conflicting poll results that flood their candidates' headquarters this year: ignore them. "We really, frankly don't pay much attention to polls," said Susan Lamontagne, press secretary for Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.). "The only poll that counts . . . is election day." Lamontagne said the polls in the race for Senate have "been all over" the place, with her candidate leading by as few as two and as many as 17 points, depending on who is doing the polling. The Daily Pennsylvanian/Ivy League poll, however, placed Republican incumbent Specter 10 points behind Democratic challenger Lynn Yeakel. Lamontagne is not the only one who doubts the validity of election polls. Gary Horlick, a local Ross Perot volunteer, said he does not believe the DP/Ivy poll which put his candidate a distant third behind Democratic candidate Bill Clinton and President Bush. The DP/Ivy poll shows Clinton far out of Bush's reach. The poll indicates that the Arkansas Governor leads the President by as few as 34 points and as many as 70 points, depending on the college. But Montgomery County Republican Chairperson Charlie Nahill said he has seen recent pools which indicated that President Bush is "in striking distance" of Clinton. "In most cases, I take polls . . . as 'Nice, thank you, good-bye' because I can't determine how accurate they are," Nahill said. The DP/Ivy poll was conducted at seven of the eight Ivy League schools -- Brown, Columbia, Harvard, Princeton and Yale universities, Dartmouth College and the University -- over three days last week. · Campaign officials said their candidates concentrate on capturing college students' votes to varying degrees over the course of the election season. Nahill said that while the Bush/Quayle campaign has not targeted college students in the past, he thinks things are about to change. "Young people have not voted in very large numbers," he said. "When you don't vote, people tend to overlook you. I think if they come out in large numbers this time around, I think people will begin to take them seriously, and I think they should." But in the Clinton camp, strong support among Ivy League students is seen as an indication that efforts to reach out to younger people have paid off. "[Clinton's lead in the poll] shows that students are responding to Clinton's plans to rebuild the economy and, particularly, to make a college education affordable for everyone in the country," said Jim Whitney, Clinton's Pennsylvania press secretary. "There's been a very long and serious commitment to students thoughout the campaign," he added. "[Clinton] shares their concerns and makes it very clear." And Bob McCarson, communications director for the Yeakel campaign, said the outreach among young voters extends to the Democratic senatorial campaign as well. "I think that the Democratic Party -- Bill Clinton and Lynn Yeakel -- are both speaking a language that resonates with college students, young voters," McCarson said. McCarson said he thinks Yeakel is an attractive candidate to college students because "they, more than any segment of the population, are worried about the future." "I think that there's as much attention paid to them as any group," he added. Despite what the polls say, local politicians said they think the campus will most likely vote Democrat on November 3. Registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by about four-to-one in the 27th ward, and the wards' independents outnumber Republicans approximately two-to-one, said Sheryl George-MacAlpine, 27th ward Democratic leader. The University lies in the 27th ward. And Matthew Wolfe, 27th ward Republican leader, said that while the University has voted for Republicans in the past -- including choosing Republican Auditor General Barbara Hafer for Governor in 1990 -- they have not voted for the last three Republican presidents. But even the politicians said they tend to ignore polls. "Instead of listening to the polls, we should listen to each other and continue to encourage people to vote," said George-MacAlpine.

Clinton visits Philadelphia

(10/13/92 9:00am)

In the wake of Sunday night's debate, Democratic Presidential candidate Bill Clinton stepped off the subway at 52nd and Market streets yesterday morning to press the flesh with area residents. Clinton, smiling and signing autographs, walked up and down 52nd Street in West Philadelphia meeting some of the hundreds lined up along the sidewalks to greet him. Democratic Senatorial candidate Lynn Yeakel, Sen. Harris Wofford (D-Pa.), and Rep. Lucien Blackwell (D-Pa.) joined the candidate. People in the crowd jockeyed for position to get an up-close look at the Arkansas Governor and were enthusiatic about Clinton and his visit to their neighborhood. "This is very exciting," said Stuart Burgh, a social worker. "I think he offers a lot of very positive choices for the next generation. He definitely has my vote." Clinton and his entourage made their second of three stops in Philadelphia at the Warwick Hotel in Center City, where the candidate was endorsed by a group of retired generals and admirals including Admiral William Crowe, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "In our view, a Commander in Chief needs sound judgement, a strong sense of purpose, a clear understanding of national defense and a vision for our country's future," said General Fred Woerner, reading from the group's prepared endorsement. "Bill Clinton has those qualifications to be Commander in Chief." Clinton's anti-war stance during the Vietnam War has come under attack in recent days, but Crowe defended Clinton, saying that President Bush's attacks have been "misguided." "I deeply deplore the implication that a single individual or a single political party has a monopoly on patriotism," he said. And Clinton, flanked by a number of the retired military personnel, thanked the group for their support. "I certainly believe that their endorsement will be helpful in convincing America that I can be Commander in Chief," Clinton said. Clinton, when asked about Sunday night's debate, expressed satisfaction with his performance saying he "feels good" about the polls, especially the ones which declared him the winner. "What those surveys all show is that two-thirds of the American people are dying for a change," the candidate said. "The only real alternative to four more years of what we've had is the campaign that I'm a part of." Across town, about 3,000 people gathered at the triangular intersection of 9th and Passyunk streets in South Philadelphia to greet Clinton who arrived at around 1:00 p.m. - about an hour an a half after he was scheduled to appear. The crowd was entertained by comedian Joey Bishop, a cowboy doing rope tricks and a host of local politicians from Mayor Edward Rendell to Wofford, who one by one ascended the old Ford pickup truck being used as a stage. "I love the signs in this crowd today," Clinton told the group. " 'Vietnam Vets,' 'Republicans for Clinton,' 'Catholics for Clinton/Gore,' . . . 'Hilary's my idol.' I like that one." Clinton talked about his economic plan, which includes investing in new jobs and reforming the health care system. "Under Bill Clinton and Al Gore you get a tax cut if you make money the old-fashioned way - by creating jobs for Americans," he said to applause. "I know our problems are not simple," he said. "We did not get into this mess overnight. We will not get out of it overnight. We have tried it their way for 12 years. It didn't work. It failed. We have got to have the courage to take a different course." Jon Woodward, a local resident who attended the rally, said he identified with a lot of what the Arkansas Governor had to say. "He hit the nail right on the head with everything," Woodward said.

Clinton to speak in South Phila.

(10/12/92 9:00am)

Democratic Presidential candidate Bill Clinton will spend this morning in Philadelphia, beginning with a stroll down 52nd Street and culminating with a speech at a Columbus Day celebration in South Philadelphia. Clinton is scheduled to walk down 52nd Street between Walnut and Chestnut streets starting at about 9:45 a.m., Jim Whitney, Clinton's Pennsylvania press secretary, said this weekend. "[Clinton will be] meeting with shoppers and shopowners and talking to them," Whitney said. "It's a good way to get to listen and share with leaders in the community and residents in the community." Some of the area's residents know about Clinton's visit and others will be surprised by his appearance, Whitney said, adding that similar informal walks have been greeted with positive responses in other cities. The Arkansas Governor is then scheduled to appear at an 11:15 a.m. press conference at the Warwick Hotel, 1701 Locust Street. Following the press briefing, Clinton is expected to travel to 9th and Passyunk streets in South Philadelphia, the site of Pat's Steaks and Geno's Steaks, to address the crowds assembled for Columbus Day. Clinton's economic plan will be the topic of his talk, Whitney said. He said it will stress the pain that Pennsylvanians have suffered during 12 years of Republican administrations. Whitney added that the Democratic ticket has been paying a lot of attention to the state over the last few months, stopping in Pennsylvania on two separate bus tours. "Pennsylvania is certainly an important state," he said. "It's a big state. Clinton and [Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate Al] Gore have both spent a lot of time here since the [Democratic] convention [in July]."

Unions to report for work today

(09/24/92 9:00am)

Mayor Edward Rendell, unable to come to a contract agreement with city unions, imposed his "last, best contract offer" last night and told city supervisors to be ready for a strike. But union leaders, representing 15,000 of the city's blue-collar and white-collar workers, ordered workers to report for work this morning and said they still have options to explore. "What we have to do is clearly fight," said Thomas Cronin, president of District Council 47 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the white-collar union. "It's a question of what weapons we use." Rendell said in a press conference last night that the unions had rejected his offer and he had rejected a counterproposal they presented yesterday morning. That contract would have left the city with a $300 million deficit after four years, he said. Rendell's four-year contract imposes a two-year wage freeze followed by a two percent raise in the third year and a three percent raise in the fourth. It also forces the unions to give up control of their health plans, reduce sick days and holidays and do away with a ban on layoffs. "We believe this is in every way a fair contract and it's an important contract for the city of Philadelphia to obtain," Rendell said. "It will allow Philadelphia to regain its economic viability." By implementing the contract, he added, the city will begin saving the $2 million it says the new contract represents. Rendell insisted he is not trying to "hammer" the unions. "In the last four or five days . . . I have been approached in the street by citizens who say 'Sit in there' . . . and 'Stick to your guns,' " he said. "Some say 'Hang in there and kill them.' I don't want to kill this union. I don't want to kill city workers." Union officials said there are no negotiations in progress. Rendell said he is willing to negotiate at any time. David Cohen, the Mayor's Chief of Staff, said union members will not notice the effects of the new contract for a few weeks. The number of sick days will immediately drop from 20 to 12 per year, he said, and the first holiday no longer belonging to union members is Election Day, he said. Cohen stressed that workers will receive "uninterrupted [health] coverage." Starting November 1, workers will be covered under one of the city's three Health Maintenance Organizations or Blue Cross/Blue Shield. The next payment into the union's current health plan, scheduled for October 13, will not be paid by the city. The city will also not make payments into its legal plan beginning for the month of October, he added. Cronin, cheered on by union members at the District Council 33 headquarters last night, called Rendell's action "despicable." Cronin said the union's options include legal recourse, continued negotiations or a possible strike, but he would not be more specific and he would not set a timetable for any action. "We'll take it one day at a time," he said. Many city workers said last night they are ready to take action against their employer. "If it was up to me we'd be out [on strike] now," said Water Department employee John Gallagher, who celebrates his eight year anniversary as a city employee today. "Maybe it's better that there are cooler heads ahead." Another Water Department employee, Kermit Hackney, said he is upset that Rendell wants to settle the city's financial problems on the backs of the unions. "Most of DC33 put [Rendell] in office, and now he wants to take from us," Hackney said. "We did not put this city into a deficit. Why do we have to pay for it?" Staff writer Roxanne Patel contributed to this story.

Rendell will outline labor dispute plans

(09/18/92 9:00am)

Mayor Edward Rendell will outline the next step in the city's ongoing labor dispute at a press conference this morning, following Wednesday's state Supreme Court decision striking down a fact-finding mission which had kept the mayor from trying to impose a contract and had kept the city's municipal workers from striking. Rendell will explain "his reaction and his plan as a result of the decision," Kevin Feeley, the mayor's press secretary said yesterday. The long-awaited decision stated that fact-finders, requested by city unions, were not appointed during the time period mandated by law. The ruling paves the way for Rendell to force matters to a head with the unions representing the city's blue-collar and white-collar workers. The unions have threatened to strike and voted earlier this month to authorize a strike should their leaders deem it necessary. Negotiations with the city broke off because of disputes over cutbacks in medical benefits which the city says it cannot afford. In the wake of the decision, labor officials continued to urge the city to resume negotiations and settle the dispute. Thomas Paine Cronin, president of District Council 47, the white-collar union, told The Philadelphia Inquirer that labor leaders "want to come to an agreement," but he said the court ruling had increased the likelihood of the strike. "We do not read the state Supreme Court's ruling today as a green light for reckless actions or rhetoric," James Sutton, president of District Council 33, the blue-collar workers, said in a statement to the paper. "We urge Mayor Rendell to enter serious, sustained negotiations with District Council 33 rather than tear this community apart by forcing a strike," he added.

Union works to ready members for strike

(09/16/92 9:00am)

Strike is not a word in Henrietta Vann's vocabulary. "I can't say that word -- it's not good," said the airport employee, a member of the union representing the city's blue-collar workers. "People lose so much." Vann, who has been on strike before, was just one of the dozens of members of Local 1510 seated last night in a dimly-lit room on the seventh floor of the District Council 33 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees headquarters. Vann and her fellow union members gathered for the first night of "strike training" -- preparations for a possible strike by the city's blue-collar and white-collar workers. The unions voted earlier this month to authorize a strike should their leaders deem it necessary. Negotiations with the city broke off because of disputes over cutbacks in medical benefits which the city says it cannot afford. The unions have not set a deadline for a strike and still have not resumed negotiations with the city, but Mayor Edward Rendell's Chief of Staff David Cohen said last week the city can implement its last best contract offer if no agreement can be reached. Should the possibility of a strike become a reality, training is necessary to ready the union members, said Dwight Kirk, a spokesman for District Council 33. "If a strike occurs we want to be prepared," he said. "We want [the members] to know we will do everything we can to help them endure and survive a strike. It would be irresponsible to just send them out on picket lines." Enter Thomas Burke, an international education trainer for AFSCME. Burke told the members of the union's rank-and-file that to prepare for a strike they must change the way they conduct union business. "We're reorganizing the union for the purpose of conducting a strike," he told them. "[Regular union] committees don't make sense when you're going on strike." "On day one of the strike, every one of you should know exactly what their role is," Burke added, as he stood next to an easel on which he had printed "MAXIMUM ORGANIZATION. MINIMUM CONFUSION." with a black marker. The training session was the first of three this week. A third of the locals were trained last night, including the airport workers, crossing and prison guards, and water department workers, and the rest will be spread out over tonight and tomorrow night. District Council 47, the white-collar union, will train its members soon, Kirk said. Holding preparation meetings does not mean union leaders are saying a strike is in the immediate future, Kirk added, and other members seated around the room agreed. "It's not a bad sign," Vann said. "It's something that people should be trained for and be made aware of." "I want the people to know exactly how to go about what it takes to formulate . . . to show the people what to do," said James Chisholm, another airport worker.

LCE asks U. for PennCards

(09/15/92 9:00am)

and JOSHUA GOLDWERT Liquor Control Enforcement officials this summer asked the University to provide them with PENNCards so they could enter student parties and potentially observe underage drinkers, Commissioner John Kuprevich said last night. The LCE rescinded their request in August, but Kuprevich said he would not have supplied the officers with the desired identification. "I don't think it would have been very effective anyway," he said. "I don't think that is the solution to any kind of problem . . . with alcohol." Kuprevich added he does not see a connection between University IDs and gaining access to student parties. At some parties people do not need PENNcards or can use IDs from other universities, Kuprevich said. Jeff Lawrence, a spokesperson for the LCE, said he did not know anything about the University's situation. He added that all LCE investigations are confidential. Lawrence also refused to confirm or deny the alleged presence of LCE agents at Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Zeta Beta Tau fraternities this weekend. Lawrence did say, however, that the LCE investigates "speakeasies," which include parties where alcohol is served and admission is charged -- characteristics of many fraternity parties. Kuprevich said his philosophy on solving the problem surrounding the use of alcohol at the University is two-fold. He said he believes in coupling education with a "reasonable level" of enforcement. "We ought to be doing a lot of heavy programming with students," he said, adding he is in the process of trying to arrive at a consensus with the LCE about how large a component enforcement should be in solving the problem. "If they're willing to work with us and not just go out on the tangent of enforcement alone, I think that we have a chance of having a community that's a little bit safer," Kuprevich said. Kuprevich said the increased initiatives by LCE officials, including their request for PENNCards, came in the wake of the LCE's raid on Phi Kappa Psi fraternity last spring where officers issued citations for underage drinking and arrested one of the brothers. He said that the raid and arrests proved that there was a problem with illegal use of alcohol at the University. Kuprevich added that LCE officials gained access without student IDs. "If they want to get in they're going to get in," he said.

Workers hope for contract settlement

(09/10/92 9:00am)

The city's municipal workers are hoping to secure a contract settlement in the wake of the city's agreement with the 20,000 member teachers' union, a labor official said yesterday. "What we're proposing to them is a similar thing [to the teachers' settlement] . . . that part is encouraging," said Leonard Tilghman, secretary-treasurer of the union representing Philadelphia's blue-collar workers. "They proved that by the teachers' settling that there was some give and take." Under their settlement, which came on the heels of a strike deadline late Monday night, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers will keep their current health benefits but get no raises until 1994. Both the city's blue-collar and white-collar unions have threatened to strike. Strike deadlines have not been set because of a pending state appeals court decision, but both unions have authorized their leaders to call a strike if necessary. But Tilghman said he is discouraged by statements by Mayor Edward Rendell reported in yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer. Rendell told the paper the city could not afford to give the city workers a settlement comparable to that given the teachers. He added that the two situations do not parallel one another. The pressure to come to terms with city workers has also been somewhat relieved, Rendell said. "Obviously, those things are beneficial to us -- not having a [teachers] strike to deal with, having a restrained settlement," Rendell said. "Those are messages that if I were in the public unions or a public employee, I would heed." The city's ongoing labor dispute brought national leaders, including AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland, to Philadelphia earlier this week for the Labor Day rally and parade through Center City. Speaking to a crowd of thousands in JFK Plaza across from City Hall, many of whom carried signs denouncing the Rendell administration's handling of the labor dispute, Kirkland pledged national support should the unions strike. The workers "will have the unflinching support of a unified labor movement that will spare no effort on their behalf," he said to applause. A number of speakers took the platform Monday morning, taking turns blasting local and national politicians. And Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), who said he was invited by Teamsters Union officials, was heckled as he tried to speak to the crowd. As Specter was introduced to the group, he was booed and ignored as most of the crowd walked away, turning their backs on his speech -- given first into a microphone, which was inexplicably turned off, then into a squeaking megaphone. Specter told the crowd, which eventually dwindled to a few dozen, that he "would work for jobs in Philadelphia." He later dismissed suggestions that he should be embarrassed by the walkout, saying the parade was about to begin. The program, which was not entirely over, was cut short by the crowd's departure. "I knew that it took a lot of guts [to come to a Labor Day parade]," Specter said.

Grad runs for office

(09/10/92 9:00am)

Marjorie Margolies Mezvinsky used to follow politicians, notebook in hand, camera crew at her side, looking for the big scoop. But on February 27, the former NBC reporter switched to the other side of the camera to become a story herself, declaring her intent to run for Congress from Montgomery County. "I just figured it was about time I get out of the stands and on to the playing field," the 1963 University graduate said in an interview this week. "As we are in it this far I'm really glad I've done it [run for the seat]," she added. But, "it's frankly much easier to be asking the questions." A Democrat, Mezvinsky is gearing up for a tight race in the traditionally Republican 13th district. She is running for the Congressional seat, vacated by longtime Republican incumbent Rep. Lawrence Coughlin, against County Commissioner Jon Fox. Response from the voters she has come into contact with, even Republicans, has been "marvelous," Mezvinsky said. She is confident that she has a "good shot" at taking the seat in November. But the district's composition does increase the challenge of swaying voters. "It takes that extra push . . . to convince Republicans to vote for a Democrat," said Anessa Karney, a 1991 College graduate and the campaign's field director. But, "people are saying 'I believe in Marjorie. I want her to represent me.' " In an election year marked by calls for change and by rhetoric announcing that 1992 is "the year of the woman," Mezvinsky says she is the candidate the voters are looking for. "It's time that those of us that feel passionately about making change do something about it," she said, smiling like the campaign poster that hangs behind her desk. "It's a wonderful time for change." And change is what Mezvinsky says she hopes to provide should she become one of the potentially 150 new members of Congress. "I don't think anyone knows what kind of change we want but we know we want change," she said. "We go from spot to spot to spot on the weekends with our kids and everyone's saying the same thing." Mezvinsky said that although women are underrepresented in government, voters should not choose a candidate based on gender. "I think it's silly to vote for a person [just] because she is a woman," she said, adding that voters should choose qualified candidates. Mezvinsky, the author of three books, and her husband, former Rep. Edward Mezvinsky, have a combined family of 11 children, and have opened their home to a total of 25 children over the years. She supports the Congressional Freedom of Choice Act, which would codify the right to obtain an abortion. She has been endorsed by EMILY's List, a political action committee which funds female candidates. But Mezvinsky's campaign has centered mostly on jobs, health care and the economy. She has outlined three "essential steps towards rebuilding" the economy: restructuring the tax code, improving education and job training, and demanding fair trade. "I've pretty much lived the issues," she said. "I know that family issues are going to be on my front burner all of the time."

WELCOME BACK: Phila. union workers may strike in Sept.

(09/04/92 9:00am)

City workers from prison guards to sanitation workers are serious in their threats to strike if the city does not step up its negotiations with the city's unions, a labor official said Monday. "I would hope [a strike] doesn't happen [but] there's really a serious, definite threat of such a strike happening," said Leonard Tilghman, secretary-treasurer of District Council 33 which represents approximately 12,000 blue collar workers in Philadelphia. The union is still in negotiations and no deadline has been set, but Tilghman said negotiations cannot continue as they have if the two sides are to come to a settlement. Union leaders were authorized by members to call a strike if necessary Sunday morning. The union was joined in strike authorization later that night by District Council 47, 4,000 of the city's white collar workers. About 20,000 Philadelphia School District employees have also authorized a strike. Negotiations have been ongoing since June when a neutral fact-finder was appointed to recommend new contract terms. "We are continually hoping to negotiate with the city of Philadelphia," Tilghman said, adding "we don't think the mayor is really and truly trying to handle the situation." But City officials have said that the unions are simply trying to stall. "The whole problem is that the unions have adopted strategy to delay," said the Mayor's Chief of Staff David Cohen. "There is no deadline. [The unions] have no interest in setting one anytime soon." And, Cohen added, "we're not going to sit on our hands much longer." If no agreement can be reached, the city can implement its last best contract offer, Cohen said. Tilghman said much of his union's complaints center on disputes about health care and other benefits, and not primarily on salary issues which he said have long been "on the back burner" because of the city's financial difficulties. "[Union employees have] gone without things to give the city time to get it's financial house in order," he said. "[But] it's getting kind of ridiculous. How many times do we have to go through this?" University officials say the University and the surrounding areas will suffer the same problems as the rest of the city. "The big impact would be on trash collection," said Assistant to the President Nicholas Constan, adding that the University also utilizes a number of other city services. John Heuer, the University's Manager of Labor Relations, said while the University will be impacted he does not forsee sympathy strikes by University employees. "They could sympathize, but they could not take any job action," Heuer said. Police and fire employees in Philadelphia cannot strike, he added. Tilghman said that services far beyond sanitation would be halted in the event of a strike, although he said garbage seems to attract the most attention. "Sanitation is the most visble," he said. "That's the one you can really put your hand on." -- The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Police to increase patrol on Walnut St.

(04/24/92 9:00am)

University Police said last night they will pay "special attention" to the corner of 40th and Walnut streets following Wednesday night's shooting death in front of the McDonald's restaurant. University Police Commissioner John Kuprevich said the department will probably respond to the shooting by increasing patrols on the corner, but he added that the additional officers in the area will not solve the crime problem in general. "It's very true in law enforcement [that] we know [adding officers to one corner] just displaces crime," Kuprevich said. "It's a quick fix at best. There's not a permanent fix unless [you build a] permanent installation." Leonard Noble, a 24-year old man from West Philadelphia, was pronounced dead at 10:49 p.m. Wednesday night, 24 minutes after police brought him to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, according to police officers. Police are conducting an investigation of the incident and according to Kuprevich, no suspect has been apprehended yet. According to eyewitness reports, the suspect, a man in a white sweatsuit, shot Noble, who was heading west on Walnut Street, with a semi-automatic weapon from the corner of 40th and Walnut streets. The suspect was standing on the corner, near his 1985 black Chevrolet Blazer, and Noble was in or near his own car. Criminologists and law enforcement experts said yesterday that the shooting, which people on the scene first characterized as a drive-by shooting, should not be labelled that way. "A drive-by shooting is not a random [shooting] but a premeditated, contrived instance," Kuprevich said. "This seemed to be a random kind of incident." "We don't have any rigid definition [for drive-by shooting]," said Criminology Professor Marvin Wolfgang. "In my lexicon, it would ordinarily be defined as . . . being in a vehicle, usually an automobile, shooting from that vehicle while in motion. It is usually a stationary target." Wolfgang added that it is his impression that while many such murders occur between people who know one another, such incidents have been increasing between people who are not acquainted. "Statistics are not kept directly on the number of drive-by shootings," he said. "[But] around 50 percent or more are among people who know each other. They are intimates -- either domestic killings or relatives or neighbors or friends. [And] the number of stranger killings is less but it has been on the rise." It is unclear whether the two men involved in the shooting knew one another, but Kuprevich said that "apparently words were exchanged" between the two before the violence broke out. Staff writer Stephen Glass contributed to this story.